140 The Loom of Language were sitting^ he will be standing^ etc In other European languages it is impossible to find a single word which corresponds to any -ing deriva- tive in such diverse expressions as a forgiving father., forgiving our trespasses I am forgiving you So the -ing terminal is a danger-signal We therefore recast our sentence in the form * / do not enjoy myself when I skate. To handlethis correctly wehavetorememberthatthewordcfo (p. 158) m such a context is also an English idiom. We omit it in translation These examples illustrate one outstanding class of difficulties which constantly arise in learning a foreign language Many of the obstacles we meet exist because we are not sufficiently alert to the peculiarities of our own language^ and fail to seize the opportunity of exploring different ways of saying the same thing The directives listed in the tables on PP 136-137 aie the ones which are really essential. We do not need equivalents for roundabout directive constructions such as the one in the phrase m case of difficulties We do not need it, if we have the essential link-word if Anyone who knows the equivalent of z/, can paraphrase it in several ways, eg if we have difficulties, if there are difficulties. Our next difficulty when dealing with particles is that the common thread of meaning characteristic of a particle in one language may embrace that of two particles each with a more restricted use in another language For instance, we use the English word before to indicate priority, whether a sencs consists of dates such as 54 B,CO A 0 1066, and AJX 1832, or objects such as the members of a class of boys stand- ing in single file We can thus dissect what we mean by before into subsidiary categories of meaning such as before (place)> i.e in front of and before (time)) i e. earlier than$ or antecedent to. This distinction implied by the context in English, is essential m French, because a Frenchman uses different words to signify before in such phrases as before the door and before the dawn. When we are drawing up a basic list of particles we have therefore to look beyond the characteristic meaning of the English word. One of the merits of our own language is that we leave much to the con- text- Whether the English conjunction when refers to an event which has happened once for all, to on event which happens repeatedly, or to some* thing which is still going on, is inwnaterial if the set-up makes the dis- tinction dear We do not customarily use whenever imless we wish to emphasize the repetition of a process, and we are not forced to use while unless we wish to emphasize simultaneity. This is not true of German or of Norwegian. If he is talking about something that is over and done with a German uses als where we should use when, A Norwegian uses da.